Here’s your overwhelming fact of the day: in the time it takes you to read this sentence, more than 20 million emails will be written. Calculate that for a full workday, and you’re looking at nearly 144.8 billion emails—a day.
90 percent of Americans now access their email through some sort of mobile device. As the pressure to work longer hours increases at many workplaces, it’s not uncommon for employees to add their work email to their personal phone—with or without their employer’s permission.
What these employees often don’t stop to consider, however, is what would happen if one of those work emails landed in the wrong hands.
A device may be essential when it comes to getting your work done outside of the office, but that device needs to be managed properly. Before unsecured mobile devices put your business in jeopardy, put some consideration into these five areas of concern:
- The biggest risk is ignorance. Employees want to be able to utilize their own phones or tablets—carrying two phones is cumbersome, and if you’re providing employees with a company-owned device, there’s no guarantee they will like the type of phone you provide. That’s the premise behind the BYOD movement (bring-your-own device, that is), which allows employees to carry one phone that acts both as a personal and a business phone. With this accessibly comes many precautions businesses must understand when company information is on the line—do employees understand what will happen if they lose that phone? If they take a new job? If they forward confidential information to the wrong email address? Education is key, and it’s your first line of defense for protecting sensitive corporate data.
- It’s not about the device. It’s about the data. On average, only 2 percent of lost or stolen devices are recovered. But it’s not the device that matters—it’s your corporate data. This is where mobile device management comes into play. If you’re going to allow employees to bring their own devices to your workplace, you need a mobile device management solution that is capable of remotely wiping corporate data off of an employee-owned mobile device.
- Mobile devices a prime access point for potential data breech. Mobile devices are today’s fraud freeway. Nearly 36 percent of all data breaches are caused by inadvertent insider misuse. Even though 77 percent of companies have policies prohibiting the use of free online file-sharing services, 72 percent of employees report using them anyway. A good mobile device management strategy can enforce compliance surrounding data sharing, and it can help you make sure your employees don’t wrongfully transfer or misuse information.
- Not all apps are created equal. Installing bad apps can do terrible things to your employee’s device, like sign them up for premium text messages, control their camera and take pictures, or access their entire contact list. Your company may not be able to control what apps your employees download onto their personal devices, but you can segregate your corporate data from these risks.
- Work leaves the office when your employees do. Having work email and files stored on a personal device is convenient—so convenient that an unlocked stolen phone can be used by anyone. Enforce policies, like setting a passcode on phones and signing out of apps, that will help keep data out of the hands of would-be thieves.
If you’re interested in learning more about mobile device management, you can get started by reading our 13 Best Practices for Developing Your Mobile Device Policy, or contact us for a consultation.